York MP says NATO should get tough with Putin

Hugh Bayley

Hugh Bayley

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

YORK Central MP Hugh Bayley has told an international conference that NATO must toughen up its response to Vladimir Putin and stop pretending Russia is a strategic partner.

He claimed yesterday that NATO must strengthen its rapid reaction capabilities and deploy more ‘defensive assets’ to central Europe, and that member countries must stop cutting defence spending.

The Labour MP was speaking in his capacity as president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly at a conference of Parliamentarians at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

He will make an abridged version of the speech to Heads of Government at the NATO Summit in Newport on Friday.

Mr Bayley said that for the past 25 years, NATO had given Russia the benefit of the doubt and clung to efforts to build an enduring partnership.

"With Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and invasion of Eastern Ukraine, President Putin has now torn that vision to pieces and trampled on the principles at the core of our partnership and of the post-Cold War order," he said.

"These actions must mark a turning point, both for our relations with Russia and for NATO itself. The battles taking place on Ukraine’s soil are not just about Ukraine, but also about the prospects for peace and security on our continent. NATO’s response, following this Summit, will shape our security environment for the years to come."

He said NATO members must must recognise that their relationship with Russia had changed fundamentally. "We can no longer pretend that Russia, under President Putin’s leadership, is a strategic partner," he said.

"Until and unless Russia returns to legality, we must continue to oppose its actions in Ukraine, strengthen NATO’s rapid reaction capabilities, deploy more defensive assets to central Europe, with contributions from all Allies, reinforce economic sanctions and reduce our energy dependence on Russia."

He claimed that by cutting defence spending as a result of the economic crisis and decreasing operational commitments, NATO had sent the wrong signal both to Russia and to Islamist extremists in the Middle East and the NATO Summit must send a clear message that Allies were now stopping such cuts.

Comments (7)

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10:39am Wed 3 Sep 14

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

I was surprised that Mr Bayley recently tabled a question in Parliament regarding incursions into British air space by Russian aircraft, and what the UK was doing about it.

Did he really expect a public answer? ("RAF stations X, Y and Z are on 4-minute readiness alert; airspace is monitored by A, B and C using System D at the following locations; we expect to intercept at F within G minutes...etc. etc.")
I was surprised that Mr Bayley recently tabled a question in Parliament regarding incursions into British air space by Russian aircraft, and what the UK was doing about it. Did he really expect a public answer? ("RAF stations X, Y and Z are on 4-minute readiness alert; airspace is monitored by A, B and C using System D at the following locations; we expect to intercept at F within G minutes...etc. etc.") Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 2

10:54am Wed 3 Sep 14

X5019c says...

How can we get tough with Russia when successive governments (his party in particular) have decimated the armed forces. They're the ones that think it's OK to have aircraft carriers that have no aircraft. Puting is laughing at us and it's you share part of the blame Bayley.
How can we get tough with Russia when successive governments (his party in particular) have decimated the armed forces. They're the ones that think it's OK to have aircraft carriers that have no aircraft. Puting is laughing at us and it's you share part of the blame Bayley. X5019c
  • Score: 13

11:12am Wed 3 Sep 14

old_geezer says...

Putin is bullying, aggressive etc BUT his interests are limited (unlike a certain other large nuclear power with a "backyard" but which pokes its nose around worldwide). The EU and NATO played a part in this imbroglio by encouraging Ukraine to look west. Russia wasn't going to lose its major Black Sea naval base and see its regional influence compromised.

All the West can do now is encourage Kiev to compromise, offer autonomy (not independence) to its eastern provinces and undertake to accommodate Russian interests.

Anything else is vain posturing, hurting ourselves as much as Russia. Not that we shouldn't beef up the Baltics and Poland a bit, without being provocative about it - no more EU/NATO expansionism. Did foolish Cameron not realise what his "from the Atlantic to the Urals" sounds like in Russian ears?
Putin is bullying, aggressive etc BUT his interests are limited (unlike a certain other large nuclear power with a "backyard" but which pokes its nose around worldwide). The EU and NATO played a part in this imbroglio by encouraging Ukraine to look west. Russia wasn't going to lose its major Black Sea naval base and see its regional influence compromised. All the West can do now is encourage Kiev to compromise, offer autonomy (not independence) to its eastern provinces and undertake to accommodate Russian interests. Anything else is vain posturing, hurting ourselves as much as Russia. Not that we shouldn't beef up the Baltics and Poland a bit, without being provocative about it - no more EU/NATO expansionism. Did foolish Cameron not realise what his "from the Atlantic to the Urals" sounds like in Russian ears? old_geezer
  • Score: 6

11:22am Wed 3 Sep 14

Zetkin says...

"With Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and invasion of Eastern Ukraine, President Putin has now torn that vision to pieces and trampled on the principles at the core of our partnership and of the post-Cold War order," he said.

Anybody who's contacted our MP about Israel's illegal annexations and their consequences will know that he's only bothered about principles and partnerships that further the interests of the West's political and business elites.
"With Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and invasion of Eastern Ukraine, President Putin has now torn that vision to pieces and trampled on the principles at the core of our partnership and of the post-Cold War order," he said. Anybody who's contacted our MP about Israel's illegal annexations and their consequences will know that he's only bothered about principles and partnerships that further the interests of the West's political and business elites. Zetkin
  • Score: 9

5:59pm Wed 3 Sep 14

Caecilius says...

Ignatius Lumpopo wrote:
I was surprised that Mr Bayley recently tabled a question in Parliament regarding incursions into British air space by Russian aircraft, and what the UK was doing about it.

Did he really expect a public answer? ("RAF stations X, Y and Z are on 4-minute readiness alert; airspace is monitored by A, B and C using System D at the following locations; we expect to intercept at F within G minutes...etc. etc.")
There have never been any incursions into British airspace by Russian (or Soviet) aircraft, notwithstanding the occasional ill-informed or perhaps deliberately misleading media article. They do regularly pass, perfectly legally, through international airspace within the UK Air Defence Region - which is a completely different thing, extending way past the Shetlands and half way across the North Sea. Most of the information you mention is in the public domain and always has been. On the other hand, the RAF certainly violated Soviet airspace back in the 1950s and the US did so on a wholesale basis until the Gary Powers U-2 shootdown in 1960 put an abrupt halt to it.
[quote][p][bold]Ignatius Lumpopo[/bold] wrote: I was surprised that Mr Bayley recently tabled a question in Parliament regarding incursions into British air space by Russian aircraft, and what the UK was doing about it. Did he really expect a public answer? ("RAF stations X, Y and Z are on 4-minute readiness alert; airspace is monitored by A, B and C using System D at the following locations; we expect to intercept at F within G minutes...etc. etc.")[/p][/quote]There have never been any incursions into British airspace by Russian (or Soviet) aircraft, notwithstanding the occasional ill-informed or perhaps deliberately misleading media article. They do regularly pass, perfectly legally, through international airspace within the UK Air Defence Region - which is a completely different thing, extending way past the Shetlands and half way across the North Sea. Most of the information you mention is in the public domain and always has been. On the other hand, the RAF certainly violated Soviet airspace back in the 1950s and the US did so on a wholesale basis until the Gary Powers U-2 shootdown in 1960 put an abrupt halt to it. Caecilius
  • Score: 1

6:29am Thu 4 Sep 14

krites says...

Why is the West so keen to see this in black and white? Isn't this yet another problem where artificial borders mean that a substantial population that has no sense of belonging to a particular state nevertheless finds itself incorporated into that state (and then finds its interests studiously ignored)?
Why is the West so keen to see this in black and white? Isn't this yet another problem where artificial borders mean that a substantial population that has no sense of belonging to a particular state nevertheless finds itself incorporated into that state (and then finds its interests studiously ignored)? krites
  • Score: 1

7:26am Thu 4 Sep 14

Martin true Viking says...

Hang on a small area in the Ukraine wants independence but the vote for this was taken by the country as a whole therefore the majority in Crimea were outvoted by the rest of the country. Yet here we have Scotland voting on there own independence without the rest of the uk having a vote. Why don't we keep our noses out for a change. As for calling Putin a bad man and a threat look on a map of the world we have invaded almost everywhere and are still killing innocents around the world. Time to be honest about our reasons but that'll never happen while our country is ruled by sneaky low life's.
Hang on a small area in the Ukraine wants independence but the vote for this was taken by the country as a whole therefore the majority in Crimea were outvoted by the rest of the country. Yet here we have Scotland voting on there own independence without the rest of the uk having a vote. Why don't we keep our noses out for a change. As for calling Putin a bad man and a threat look on a map of the world we have invaded almost everywhere and are still killing innocents around the world. Time to be honest about our reasons but that'll never happen while our country is ruled by sneaky low life's. Martin true Viking
  • Score: 2
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